The victory of transgender athletes generates controversy

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Despite complying with established norms and standards, athletes of this condition continue to face societal prejudices, especially in female categories

The victory of transgender athletes generates controversy

Two transgender athletes reignited the debate about their role in today's sport, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood won the speed competitions in college games in Connecticut, United States. According to the newspaper Marca, both competitors occupied the first places with 6.95 and 7.01 seconds respectively in the 55-meter test. The third place, a non-transgender athlete arrived in a time of 7.23 seconds. This fact added to other recent ones, has led public opinion to debate on whether it is fair that transgender women compete with women since little by little they have shown superiority in different sports.

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One of the most critical voices is former tennis player Martina Navratilova, who published a harsh article claiming that it is an injustice for transgender women to compete against biological women. Among other things, she wrote: "Hundreds of transgender athletes have achieved more recognition as women of the capabilities they had as men, it is insane, cheating and unfair for women who have to compete against rivals who, biologically, are still men," according to information of the BBC. Navratilova is an influential activist of the rights of the LGBT community since she is openly bisexual, but now she is accused of transphobic for her statements.


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In the case of Connecticut college athletes, the mother of Selina Soule, one of the "defeated" girls, has initiated a legal process to make the laws more stringent before allowing transgender athletes to participate, claiming that her daughter could lose her university scholarship that depends on his sporting results, according to Antena 3.

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What are the rules for transgender athletes?

In 2003 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allowed transgender athletes to compete with the sex with which they identified, but only after being operated on. Since the Olympic Games of Rio 2016, he gave his approval to participate, being necessary just to be subjected to hormonal treatment from one year before the competition, without being compulsorily operated. The biggest problem is for men who became women, who are required to keep their testosterone levels low, so they do not have an advantage over women.


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Although the controls are strict, prejudices that consider that transgender athletes have an advantage despite having low testosterone levels abound. According to the BBC, women have a 10% less performance than men, in terms of sports. This becomes more evident especially in contact sports where muscle mass is an advantage. But also, there are sports in which the greater muscle mass could be a disadvantage, Joanna Harper, ex-athlete, adviser of the IOC and trans medical of Providence Medical Center in Oregon, the United States, gives as an example the gymnastics, where she considers that a Transgender athlete with greater muscle mass would have a disadvantage against women.

The doctor has done studies in which she assures that when undergoing hormonal treatments the results of transgender athletes become similar to those of biological women. However, skeptics still exist, especially when transgender athletes achieve the first places, that is, tolerance ends when they excel in sports.

ENTREVISTA | Joanna Harper, asesora del COI: "Las mujeres trans son bienvenidas en las competiciones deportivas siempre que no ganen" https://t.co/4Rt2O75wss Por @David_Noriega pic.twitter.com/omt4wdbmOJ

— eldiario.es (@eldiarioes) 19 de febrero de 2019


Transgender men

For transgender men, the process is more "simple," because they have no restrictions as their counterparts. There are also many examples in the sport of transgender men, one of them is that of the fighter Fallon Fox, and one of the most recent is Patricio Manuel, a boxer who won last December by unanimous decision to the Mexican Hugo Aguilar. With this, he became the first transgender boxer to win a professional fight in the United States, a great achievement for himself.



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LatinAmerican Post | Luis Ángel Hernández Liborio

Translated from "Victoria de atletas transgénero vuelve a generar polémica"

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